Monday, June 21, 2010

She is One Lucky Girl have such sweet big brothers who will read books to her!

Swimming Lessons

I wanted to stay busy the week and a half that Jackson was gone, so I enrolled the boys in swim lessons during those weeks even though the water is still a little chilly at the pool we go to. Nicholas was in "Aquatot 3" and Thomas was in "Waterworks 1."

Nicholas is a pro at back floats. He is great at filling his tummy up with air and relaxing on his back. By the end of the two weeks, he could back float unassisted. He was pretty hesitant to get his face in the water. The first few days he did great, but as he got more comfortable with his teachers, he felt more open to telling them he really didn't want to do that. His teacher aka "Mr Giggles" was positive, encouraging, and fun, which was perfect for Nicholas. He suggested filling up the bath with a lot of water and letting him practice getting his face wet there where it was more warm and comfortable. We did that, and by the last day of swim lessons Nicholas was excited to do his bobs and willing to try a front float. Good job Nicholas!

Thomas is getting better and better at swimming. He listens carefully to his instructors and is learning good form on his strokes. He can glide like a champion and does very well with the front crawl. He has a hard time going farther than he can hold his breath because it is hard to time the breathing, but he is getting better and better. His least favorite is the back float, but he doesn't complain and just does his best. He was sad to have his last day of lessons and is asking when we can go back for more. I think I will try to get us to the pool to play and practice the things they have learned several times and then sign them up for one more session toward the end of the season...maybe the beginning of August.

Estella and I hang out on the "splash pad" while the boys are swimming. If we ever made it there early the boys enjoyed playing there before their lessons started.

I love how Thomas is subconsiously crossing his fingers while he is jumping with excitement.

Nicholas had two shots before lessons this morning. I am still baffled by how many shots they recommend for these little guys. I find myself wondering if they are all necessary. I did a lot of research before Thomas was born and decided to go ahead and do the recommended vaccinations. I swear, though, there are more now than when I did all my reading about them. Thomas had 5 before kindergarten and they gave them to him all at once. That was a horrible experience, so I promised myself that I would never give my child more than two at a time. Nicholas needed three this year, so I did two and we will go back for the other one in a week. Then he has the dose of 5 next year before kindergarten. I will break those up as well.
He amazes me with his bravery. He sat up and just watched everything the nurse did. When it started hurting, his sweet face got tense and a bit red, but he didn't cry. After it was all over, he looked upset and I told him it was okay to cry if he wanted, but he just shook his head and said he was fine. The nurse told him that he was her hero. He liked that.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Angry Birds

Jackson's boss bought him an I-phone to help him be as productive as possible at work. I think it has brought more unproductive time at home than it is worth. As soon as Jackson walks in the door the kids all immediately start begging to play a game on his phone. He downloaded a few free games and the favorite by far is "Angry Birds." These little angry birds hop up into a sling shot and you fling them at a structure that usually has a pig or two in it. The goal is to destroy the structure and all the pigs. It sounds silly, but the kids (and Daddy) sure love it. It is simple enough for even Estella to do, but challenging enough to keep Jackson awake longer than is needful at night.

They beat all the levels in the free version, so Thomas paid Jackson $1 to download the next batch of levels. It is so cute to hear Essie say, "I want a play angry birds daddy." When he hands her the phone she know exactly which icon to touch and then says, "It's loading," while she waits for it to get all booted up.

I have banned all playing on the phone on Sundays and now use it as motivation (or is it a bribe?) to get the boys to finish all their chores each day. If they finish they get to play for 20 minutes each. They enjoy watching each other play just as much as they enjoy actually playing themselves.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Science Camp

I enrolled Thomas in two camps this summer that were both recommended to me by two seperate teachers at his Elementary school. The first was a week long science camp. He came home every day with multiple hands on projects and a lot of excitement. The last day families were invited to watch the rocket launch. Each child built a rocket out of a soda bottle. There were different challenges extended: make it look good, make it fly high, and make a compartment to house and protect an egg during take-off and landing.

We had such a fun time designing and building the rocket together. Thomas took a nerf ball we had, cut off one end, and hollowed out a space in the middle for the egg. Jackson and Thomas made curved fins out of a cottage cheese container hoping they would make the rocket spin in the air. We spray painted it black and put electric tape lightning bolts on it for decoration.

We were surprised at how high the launcher flew the rockets! It was very fun to watch. Thomas was one of the last of about 50 children to fly his rocket. His was among the highest flying. The egg had no hope, though! It was a good idea, but with how high that rocket flew and how fast it came down, nose first, the egg just exploded!

Jackson's Birthday

Jackson's 32nd birthday was on June 1st. We had both been wanting to have some friends over for a BBQ, so I thought this was a good excuse to JUST DO IT! I was busy being a host, so this is the only picture I got. One of the gifts the boys and I picked out was a new tetherball for our tetherball pole. We picked this pole up off the side of the road during last year's spring clean up. It had a string and a ball, but the ball was REALLY old, hard, and not very fun to play with. This new one has already gotten more use in a week than the old one got in a year.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Friday, June 18, 2010


One of my favorite moments of the day is tucking my kids in one last time before I go to bed. They are so peaceful, still, calm, and angelic...much the opposite of the way they are during the day :) I love to stroke their soft cheeks, get in close and breathe in their warmth, and just bask in the love I have for them.

It is always to dark to take a picture at that moment (plus I don't want to wake them) but a few days ago I needed to wake Estella up from a nap during the day. She wasn't rousing, so I grabbed the camera and after two clicks (my camera's shutter is pretty loud) she was up.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Suzuki Institute

Jackson is at a 10 day class in Draper, Ut to learn how to teach cello better. It is a very in depth and extensive course. These 10 full days of instruction and observation only cover Book 1 of the Suzuki method. Next summer he will take Books 2 and 3...they are only 5 days each. He has been fascinated with the information and is itching to start teaching!

The kids and I made a chain to count down the days until Daddy comes home. It has really helped both Thomas and Nicholas. Time goes so slowly for is hard to understand 10 days. As they have seen the chain get shorter, however, they realize that it is getting closer. We made the chain the morning Daddy left. That evening we were sitting around the table. Nicholas asked, "Is it still the same day that Daddy left?" I told him it was. He sat there contemplating all those links on the chain and exclaimed, "WOW! That is going to be a REALLY long time until Daddy gets home."

That morning the kids requested chocolate chex (Thomas had seen them at the grocery store the day before). Normally I wouldn't cater to a request like that, but I was feeling like I needed something special to help me start off the long husbandless stretch, so I gave in. I didn't have chocolate chex, but I did have corn chex, plain yogurt and chocolate milk powder. The kids were delighted!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bouncing Buddies

After the boys saw the pictures I had taken of Estella jumping, they were jealous and wanted some of them jumping.

I can't think of a time when only one of them was jumping alone...they always jump together. In fact, Thomas often comes to me upset because he wants to go out and jump and Nicholas won't go with him. If I suggest he go out by himself he looks at me as if I were suggesting something absolutely crazy. they are...the bouncing buddies.